Wednesday, January 26, 2011

No Link Between Assange And Manning

By Jerry Smith Jan 26 2011

U.S. military investigators announced that they have been unable to find a link between WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and Army Private Bradley Manning, the alleged source of the 'Cablegate' documents.

The investigators failure to establish any link between Assange and Manning means that it will be harder for the U.S. to press charges against Assange, and have him extradited to the U.S., possibly to face the death penalty.

The Pentagon claims to have proof that Manning illegally downloaded the 'Cablegate' files and gave them to WikiLeaks. The 'Cablegate' files are the secret military communications relating to the Iraq and Afghan wars, and the roughly 250,000 classified diplomatic cables that have gotten so many leaders and diplomats around the world in hot water.

It's also believed Manning provided WikiLeaks with a secret military video that shows the deaths of two Reuters journalists.

Manning, who has been in military custody for the past seven months, has had 12 charges levied against him. Those charges so far all have to do with violations of the Army's information assurance policy, which are federal regulations related to the receipt of classified information, and wrongful access of a government computer. Manning faces a maximum penalty of 54 years for the 'violations' and wrongful access offences, and more serious charges relating to passing information to a third party are expected.

WikiLeaks has provided money to Manning's legal defense as he remains in solitary confinement in his cell for 23 hours each day, with only one hour for exercise and one hour watching television.

Assange, who is still under house arrest at Ellingham Hall in Norfolk,UK and facing extradition to Sweden, has said he does not know if Manning was the source of the classified documents, and has publicly denied any connection to Manning before he made the documents public.

"That's not how our technology works, that's not how our organisation works," he said. "I never heard of the name of Bradley Manning before it appeared in the media." He described as "nonsense" allegations that WikiLeaks had conspired with Manning.

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